Rory Gardiner's Webpage

11, Aug, 2009

Tuesday 11th August 2009


Rory and I have had a day full of interesting activity.  This morning we headed out to Crystal Mountain under the Waitakere Ranges.  There is a collection of crystals, fossils, and stalagmites in a rock cave 80 metres underground.  We were amazed at the size and variety of the crystals, and enjoyed running our hands over them.  We browsed through the large crystal shop and Rory bought a fossil necklace.  It is an ammonite, an extinct marine creature which lived 65-200 million years ago, and is related to octopus and squid.  It was warming up as we headed outside and wandered around the farm park.  Rory got to cuddle a soft young rabbit and was amazed at the nest of one week old kits in the hay.  We had a laugh when he fed the rat, closely supervised by a pair of Ilamas.  Rory used the remainder of our feed on a goat, and a fat woolly sheep who was so excited at the prospect of a snack he ate the bag as well! 

When we got back to RM House I administered Rory's daily dose of GCSF.  This has to be given at the same time each day and pushed slowly as it stings.  After lunch we were delighted to receive an email from Rory Gardiner.  Yes you read it right!  In Canada there is a striking country and western singer who shares Rory's name, and even has his own website ( ).  I sent him an email yesterday telling him about Rory, and he replied.  He has sent over some merchandise for Rory and requested some Kia Kaha Rory wrist bands. 

We went down to the Child Cancer Foundation (CCF) this afternoon to see Carol and were shocked to learn she has been made redundant in a restructuring.  Carol has been a regular source of support, information, and small treats since Rory was diagnosed.  We have valued her warm understanding presence in our lives and are disappointed she won't continue to be part of our journey.  While we were at CCF we picked up some new sibling beads for Sam (fish, dolphin), some vouchers, and Rory was given a Tintin book and Bakugan brawlers.  Carol always manages to plug some of the gaps in our ship when we are away from home.  We are very grateful. 

A parcel was waiting for Rory (and Sam) when we returned to RM House; three new Lego Star Wars mini-figures; Obi Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu and Darth Maul.  I have taken a photo of all the characters the boys have collected to date (primarily for Trudi's education) and will put it on the website this week.  (Trudi the characters in the photo were Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker).  We spent some time with House teacher Jocelyn arranging additional school work for Rory.  I have decided to focus on the basics (maths, spelling, writing, and reading) over the next 14 weeks, and we are all going to have to accept where he is placed next year at school.  I know he is afraid of being held back but I don't want to keep him in the room doing school work for hours every day.  He quickly tires of it (and me) because of the chemo, and the lack of his peers to keep him interested and motivated.  I don't want to 'waste' time in his life when I know he gains a lot from the experiences we have every day, plus enjoys himself and gets outside.  All I can do is try and not let him fall too far behind.  This afternoon was a classic example of hopelessness.  He did an activity on time and had a small tantrum when he couldn't figure out the second sheet out.  He them promptly fell asleep for an hour.  I just don't have the heart to push him.